Since its foundation, CECOEDECON believes that whatever the approach of development, it is not possible unless the leadership of decision and implementation is in the hands of local community and local community based organizations. To act with this belief, CECOEDECON moved forward & facilitated the process of formation of CBOs and also supported the self-propelled process of formation of community based organizations. By this process community leadership in the structure of Village Development Committees (VDCs), Women Group (Mahila Mandal), Youth Group (Yuva Mandal), etc. came forward. At this time, it was recognized that there is a need for joint efforts to address issues identified at the village level to proceed at block level & at district level. In this process farmers federation (Kisan Seva Samiti) in Chaksu & Phagi block were constituted.

In view of the fruitful impact of these federations in planning, implementation, evaluation and sustainability of different development initiatives, the Institutional Development Programme (IDP) was proposed as a core programme in PIIRD programme in year 2000. It was proposed that in this programme CECOEDECON will build the capacity of CBOs that have been already formed and those that will be formed in future. This will facilitate the self-propelling process of CBOs and at the same time these CBOs will be able to develop coordination & networking with different civil society organizations and will develop a fruitful networking and alliance with different government departments. In continuation of that process, in PIIRD 2nd & PIIRD 3rd Phase, efforts of awareness generation and capacity building of CBOs were made through different activities. Based on previous experience VDCs of Newai, Malpura & Sahabad were constituted into block level federations (Kisan Seva Samiti) in their respective blocks. KSSs of Chaksu & Phagi blocks, which were formed earlier came together and constituted a common federation of both the blocks called “Kisan Seva Samiti, Phagi –Chaksu. At the same time efforts were made to form new groups and strengthen old youth groups (Yuva Mandal), women groups (Mahila Mandal), and children federations (Bal Panchayat). These federations raised a number of issues related to rights of people / community with positive results.

It was experienced that many of issues raised through the block level federations (KSS) required efforts at state & national level; especially the issues that can be resolved through policy reforms and require joint efforts. Recognizing this fact, there was need to formulate an organization which can work on such issues in coordination & networking with likeminded organizations and for this purpose state level federation (Kisan Seva Samiti Mahasangh) was constituted by the KSS of different blocks.


These village level and block level federations were constituted in Chaksu, Phagi, Malpura, Newai and in Sahabad block; the genuine representation of SC, ST, women were ensured in these CBOs. Beyond this a number of CBOs through different projects was also formed, so that ownership & sustainability of different interventions can be ensured.

Kisan Seva Samiti Mahasangh – KSSM is a state level federation of Kisan Seva Samities, it works as an apex institution of all the CBOs. KSS undertakes advocacy on regional, national & international levels for the issues related to social, economical development & issues relating to the concerns of farmers, women, dalit, and tribals & the deprived. The role of KSSM is to bring the concerned issues in highlight at state & national level so that these issues can be brought to the notice of the government. KSSM plays its role in two ways, on one it side puts the issues of community in front of the government, and on other side raises awareness of the community about government policies. The voice of KSSM has been strengthened through networking with other organizations


Sahariya Vikas Manch - Being the most underdeveloped region of Rajasthan on the basis of socio-economic indicators, the SVM has sought the attention of CECOEDECON to work over there. The situation of Sahria tribes is found to be grim despite the adequate natural resources e.g. forest and forest produce. The real benefit goes to middleman due to lack of knowledge among these forest dwellers.

Besides the illicit felling and many more reasons, the actual green areas have shrunk and produce less than earlier. This led to the development of the agricultural land and a transition to agrarian culture by Saharia community. Having had less experience and poor quality land and mind set of old age forest dependency made the situation worse.

The organization stepped forward with its long experience of working with different communities, and started working in the area with multiple strategies. The major thrust was given to formation and capacity building of the village level institutions & block level apex institution. With the formal step by the organization in 1998 after the completion of a World Bank Assignment of Social assessment, a series of discussions were held with the Shahria tribes in villages and formally SVM was formed in Oct. 2004.

Institution building is an integral part of all our programmes. We strongly believe that the sustainability of any incentive can only be ensured if the ownership is taken up by the local people. Thus, strengthening our partner community has been a major focus of all our interventions. Through three decades of hard work we have been successful in creating a strong grassroots network and have also been able to built the capacities of our partner groups to the extent that they now have the bargaining power as a collective voice while fighting for their rights.


 

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